By Stacy Jenel Smith
Now that - whew! - Rosie O'Donnell is off "The View," the big question is, who will ABC get to replace her?
Already the idea of Roseanne Barr has been floated - and shot down. As the comedian herself told Debbie Matenopoulos, "Sometimes I think they're just saying it because we're both named Rosie and fat."
And, Roseanne said, "They want somebody less crazy than Rosie O'Donnell, not more."
And perhaps the coup de grace from the former sitcom queen: "I don't give a damn about celebrities."
So it appears she's out, although we have a hunch that if she was actually offered the job, Roseanne would turn right around and say, "I'm in!"
Meanwhile, we ought to help ABC by considering other candidates, right?
If the criteria for successfully replacing Rosie are shared characteristics of the extremely opinionated star, then we have easy-to-follow guidelines.
Janeane Garofalo is angry, hated, glib, extremely opinionated, left of liberal, wears her mouth in a twist and has been known to support Scientology-linked causes. That's close to O'Donnell, who is known to support Scientologist Tom Cruise. But...ratings are a concern. Let's be honest here. Garofalo was expected to be such a big draw on 'Air America' that she would help the entire radio enterprise become a success. Didn't happen and didn't happen. Strain between her and 'Majority Report' cohost Sam Seder led to her exit from the program. So she's already done the high expectations-to-bitter departure circuit. No need to do it again.
On the other hand, Janice Dickinson made 'America's Next Top Model' a Number One show in 52 countries! Well, that's what Dickinson says. She also says she was the world's first Supermodel, and who would disagree within her earshot?
"I'd rather be an honest b----h than some a---kissing, sugarcoating, namby-pamby, wiping---s $#%@&*#@%," said the 52-year-old in her ladylike way.
This tells us she is tough enough.
She also has that Rosie-like certainty that she is always right.
In her autobiography, 'No Lifeguard on Duty,' Dickinson declared "I've had a tough life. I've walked some of the hardest pavements in the world to become a model - and that's why I'm entitled to say the things I do."
An irritating sense of entitlement can help ingrain a TV personality into the mind of a viewer like a sliver. So there's that as well.
But, though I'm no fan of Rosie's, it's only right to give the devil her due. Dickinson has nothing like the intelligence, talent, celebrity stature or sheer force of personality that O'Donnell does. And can you picture Barbara Walters asking Janice Dickinson aboard? Naaaaah.
Before naming Rosie O'Donnell as cohost, Walters said she was hoping to get a minority back on the show, and that she missed having an "African-American voice."
Sure, she could always bring Star Jones Reynolds back into the fold, but does anyone want that, really?
Sheryl Lee Ralph was among those who tried out for 'The View.' We love Sheryl Lee! But if she's supposed to have Rosie-style meanness in her, forget it. She's just way too classy and nice.
Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth is neither classy nor nice, but the reviled former 'The Apprentice' contender doesn't have much else going for her either.
The New York Post named Whoopi Goldberg as one of Rosie's rumored replacements. There's no question that she'd be a draw and we'd be fascinated to hear what she has to say. But why would she want to do 'The View'?
Others named by the Post included Joan Rivers, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kathy Griffin and Nancy Grace - all of whom can be grating and obnoxious, certainly. But each of those personalities has a certain more-of-the sameness to the women already on the show. They need something different in the mix.
Then there was the wag who put forth the idea of Alec Baldwin, who has so very much in common with Rosie in terms of distaste from the general public for everything from his prima dona tantrums to his collection of jaw-droppingly offensive remarks. It is about time, some argue, for testosterone on that gab fest.
But then it wouldn't be 'The View' anymore.